The Benton County Elections Office plans to mail out ballots this week for the Nov. 8 general election and in an effort to help voters get to know the candidates a little better, the Philomath News asked each of them five questions.

This is the fifth of a five-part series of questions and answers to be published this week at Two candidates are running for Benton County commissioner — incumbent Pat Malone and challenger William Kughn.

For more information, the Benton County Elections Office uploaded each candidate’s filing form. Information on the forms include details on occupation, educational background and prior governmental experience. Click here for Kughn. Click here for Malone.

In addition, the Benton County Voters’ Pamphlet is available here.

This is the fifth of five questions asked of the candidates. Each candidate was allowed no more than 200 words for each individual answer with no exceptions. Answers were edited only for punctuation and typos and to conform to newspaper style guidelines (abbreviations, capitalization, etc.).

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you personally?

MALONE: I would like the Benton County community to know I have a passion for growing trees. Through decades of hard work, I have learned what species grow well on each different part of our farm.  My wife and I intend to leave a legacy of a forest in place of the marginal farm ground with which we started.

I enjoy being a Benton County commissioner and I’ve learned a lot in my first term. I’m optimistic about our future. I’ve got the energy and experience to be an even more effective commissioner, if I’m elected to a second term.

KUGHN: Can Benton County and Corvallis do more to welcome employers to this area? Demographics for Corvallis show two peaks — college-age individuals and older people (professors and retirees). The gap between these populations suggests that people of working age are more likely to live elsewhere. This needs attention — we need jobs and affordable housing for people in their peak earning years.

I look forward to serving the residents of Benton County as commissioner. I bring enthusiasm, fresh ideas and conservative and moderate views to the table. I would appreciate your vote. Voters can find more information at

Monday, Oct. 17: How would you define the responsibilities of a county commissioner and what do you believe constitutes appropriate and effective citizen representation?
Tuesday, Oct. 18: What do you see as the three biggest issues facing Benton County, and how would you propose these issues be addressed?
Wednesday, Oct. 19: What is your experience with preparing or authorizing budgets and what do you see as the biggest budget challenges?
Thursday, Oct. 20: What is your approach to evaluating land use applications and what, in your view, are the factors that are most important to consider when doing so?
Friday, Oct. 21: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you personally?

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.